A resume is essentially a sales pitch that highlights your strengths and demonstrates why you are the right person for the job. Even if you are not looking for a job yet, a resume can help demonstrate why you are the right prospective student for a college. Some colleges ask for a resume as part of the application process. Even if you have never worked before, a resume is a great tool for listing academic, extracurricular and volunteer activities or achievements that are relevant to your future in college. Writing a resume for college admission can also help prepare you to write a more effective resume when you are ready to seek employment.

Why You Need a Resume for a College Application

Admission into some colleges can be just as competitive as scoring a highly coveted job, which is where an effective marketing tool like a resume comes into play. A well-written resume can boost your chances of admission to college by focusing on relevant high school experiences that are not highlighted in your transcripts, essays or elsewhere in your application. It is important to note, however, that some colleges specifically request that you not submit a resume along with your application. Before you submit a resume, closely read and follow the directions that are specific to the school you are applying to. Only submit a resume if the school requests or allows it because following directions properly will score you more brownie points with admissions than submitting an unsolicited or unwanted resume.

What Do You Put on a Resume for College?

Your resume should include a summary of significant experience and activities from your high school years. Do not include every mundane detail, only things that showcase your skills and experiences in a meaningful way. Before you start writing your resume, make a list of clubs you participated in, sports that you played, awards that you won, volunteer or community service and any intensive research projects that you worked on. For each thing on that list, identify the time you spent on it and use action words to describe the specific roles you played. Consider which of those things on your list best reveal your true character and demonstrate your academic and personal strengths.

Break your list into categories like organizations, athletics, leadership positions you may have held, special awards or honors you have earned or work experience you may have, if any. Focus on quality over quantity by narrowing down your list to only those activities that enrich your college application and demonstrate qualities that are not evident through other aspects of it. Since many prospective students tend to overkill the resume with too much information, make yours stand out by limiting it to one page that details your most significant achievements.

Resume for College Example

Much like dressing properly for a job interview, the way your resume looks will have a considerable impact on the kind of impression it will make. Start with a heading that includes your full name, current address, current phone number and current email address. Make sure the email address you use sounds professional. Next, list your education information. The name and address of your high school along with your anticipated graduation date and GPA will suffice for this section.

After your education section, include a list of your relevant activities, honors and awards, including dates and a brief description of your involvement. If you have any community service or work experience, include that next. Wrap things up with a list of special skills that you may have followed by a list of references. Make sure that you get permission from the people who you will list as references on your resume so that they are not surprised if they receive a call about it.


Angel Smart

123 Way Street

My city, My State 33176

(555) 555-5555



My High School Name

456 Way Street

My City, My State 33178

Anticipated Graduation: May 28, 2019

GPA: 3.8 on a 4.0 scale unweighted

Graduated with honors


Service Learning Award: 2017

Completed the most service learning hours in a class of 750 with 100 service hours

Managing Editor of student newspaper Gator Gazette: 2017-2018

Managed a staff of 10, edited articles and designed paper layout in Microsoft Publisher

National Honor Society: 2016-2018

MVP Award Varsity Basketball: 2017


Camillus House: Assistant Fundraising Coordinator: 2017

Helped coordinate funding for food program

Neva King Cooper: Project Leader: 2018

Organized service learning project between students and disabled children

Head Start: Elementary tutor: 2017-2018


Bag Boy at Corner Market: 2017

Assisted with grocer bag packing and developed strong customer service skills


Teresa Hart (Teacher) (555) 556-5546

Mark Nice (Employer) (555) 557-5535

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